Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question:I’m having some issues with my husband.  He leaves me alone at night with our infant child while he spends time with his friends.  Often he sleeps on the couch instead of in the bed with me.  I told him this hurts me but he doesn’t care.  I feel unwanted.

Also, he swears and calls me names when I try to talk to him to solve our problems.  He breaks many promises and I don’t trust him anymore.  Also, he doesn’t make his prayers. Should I remind him or not be intimate with him if he doesn’t pray?

My husband and I love each other, but I need advice about how to deal with these problems because I don’t want to get a divorce.

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question. I pray this message finds you well.

A man asked one of the pious predecessors for advice on choosing a husband for his daughter. The response was to find someone who fears God because if he loves his wife, he will honor her, and if he doesn’t love her, he will not abuse her.

Your situation is of concern because your husband does not appear to fit the above description. He is not carrying out his basic religious obligations and he abuses you. A God-fearing husband does not hang out with his friends all night, sleep on the sofa, and threaten to hit his wife.

These are all behaviors intended to diminish you. They are not the actions of someone who values his marriage. Furthermore, I suspect your husband is engaging in these behaviors because he does not want to deal with whatever is really bothering him, possibly the way his life has been turned upside down by a new baby. Having a baby causes a certain amount of stress for new parents and there are healthy ways to cope. He is not coping well.

I also suspect he may be depressed. However, his abandonment of prayer and avoiding being at home with you are not going to help.

My suggestion is that he needs to talk to a religious leader immediately and seek marriage counseling.

However, please understand that you’ve come to accept a situation that, on many levels, is not pleasing to Allah and is not healthy for you. Divorce, particularly when it means you are free of someone who abuses you and doesn’t obey Allah, can be a release, not a punishment.

May Allah Ta’ala make things easy for you,

Zaynab Ansari

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